Birmingham, Alabama — As Congress works to meet the April 8 deadline for a final budget deal for the fiscal year 2011, the Community Action Association of Alabama will join direct service providers and advocates from around the country in Washington, DC to warn Congress about the impact of cuts that threaten economic security for families and elders. The groups will meet with the Alabama Congressional delegation and other Members of Congress as part of a three-day organizing meeting hosted by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW)- a national organization that works to achieve economic independence for families.
“The House budget will hurt job growth and weaken the already tenuous ability of millions of Alabama families and seniors to make ends meet,” said Ron Gilbert, Executive Director of the Association. “Cutting off the very programs that are helping families and seniors stay afloat is a short-sighted move that will stall our economic recovery.
Cynthia Burton, head of Community Service Programs of West Alabama, said that the proposed budget cuts would be “devastating” to low-income people in the Black Belt area, including Greene County.
“I don’t understand why the Congress is even considering this,” said Burton, “If we cut out every single domestic program, that would only be about 10% of the entire budget. How will that help to solve a multi-trillion dollar deficit?”
Community Service provides a number of services to low income and elderly citizens, all of which would be impacted by the proposed budget cuts.
“The cuts would certainly impact our ability to help low income families with energy assistance (LIHEAP),” she said.
“It would hurt the mobile food voucher program. We had anticipated beginning a system where the vouchers could be used at local farmers’ markets. That is now on hold.
“All the programs that we offer will be cut in proportion to the budget cuts.
“In Head Start programs, we would probably have to cut back on staffing, drastically cut some programs such as field trips and the cuts could also affect us bring in professionals to assist with special needs kids.
“In other words,” said Burton, “it would hurt almost the entire area.”
During the meeting, groups will also discuss a new report and measure for family economic security. The national Basic Economic Security Tables (BEST), to be released during the meeting, calculates the monthly income necessary for families to cover their basic expenses, including child care, housing, health care, and transportation, and prepare for the future, including saving for emergencies, home ownership, education and retirement. The report will provide new details on the role public programs for housing, child care and health care play in helping families make ends meet.
Alabama will be among the first states for which Basic Economic Security Tables will be developed. Alabama’s BEST is scheduled for release in May at the Advancing Economic Stability Conference (http://www.advancingalabamaconference.org).
Leading economists are projecting a loss of 700,000 jobs nationwide if the most recent House spending bill for fiscal year 2011 (HR1) is enacted. The bill includes $61 billion in cuts, including billions of dollars in cuts to job training, education, elder assistance programs, such as:
*$3.8 billion in cuts to Workforce Investment Act training programs, which have served 8 million people and place more than half of them in jobs in the past year;
*Cuts to Head Start, special education (IDEA) and schools in low-income communities, which derail education programs and eliminate an estimated 72,000 jobs;
*44 percent cut to the Community Services Block Grant program, which provides nutrition, employment, health and other necessary services to over 20 million low-income people, including five million children, 2.3 million seniors and 1.7 million people with disabilities through 1,065 community action agencies nationwide;
*Cuts to Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which millions of families depend on to stay warm in winter;
*A 67% cut to the Section 202 senior housing program, which already has a two-year waiting list for seniors in need of affordable housing.
“Job training programs are helping get millions of Americans back to work, and housing, heating and food assistance programs are helping support the millions more who have not been able to find a new jobs,” said Gilbert. “We need Congress to focus on a budget solution that helps grow, not undercut the middle class.”
The Community Action Association of Alabama is a strong, united network of effective community action agencies, guided by excellence and integrity in the promotion of social and economic justice in the State of Alabama. For more information go to www.caaalabama.org.
Weather for Eutaw, Ala. Monday Tuesday WednesdayPartly Cloudy91/68Partly Cloudy90/68Chance of a Thunderstorm88/66
- May 2013 (26)
- April 2013 (32)
- March 2013 (37)
- February 2013 (31)
- January 2013 (43)
- December 2012 (33)
- November 2012 (40)
- October 2012 (42)
- September 2012 (35)
- August 2012 (50)
- July 2012 (41)
- June 2012 (37)
- May 2012 (43)
- April 2012 (38)
- March 2012 (35)
- February 2012 (43)
- January 2012 (36)
- December 2011 (45)
- November 2011 (43)
- October 2011 (36)
- September 2011 (45)
- August 2011 (29)
- July 2011 (13)
- June 2011 (18)
- May 2011 (15)
- April 2011 (14)
- March 2011 (18)
- February 2011 (14)
- January 2011 (15)
- December 2010 (16)
- November 2010 (13)
- October 2010 (13)
- September 2010 (15)
- August 2010 (10)
TagsAlabama New South Coalition ANSC Bingo disbursement Black Farmer Lawsuit CEO Luther"Nat" Winn CFO Paula Bird Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell Dr. Martin Luther King Eutaw City Council Eutaw Mayor Raymond Steele Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA) Federation of Southern Cooperatives /Land Assistance Fund Fund First Lady Michelle Obama George Zimmerman Greene Co. Sheriff Joe Benison Greene County Board of Education Greene County Commission Greene County Commissioner Greene County High School Greene County School System Greene County Sheriff Jonathan Benison Greene County Superintendent Dr. Emma Louie Greenetrack Greenetrack Bingo Inc John Zippert Jr. Lester Brown Mayor Hattie Edwards Mayor Pro-Tem Hattie Edwards Mayor Raymond Steele Mitt Romney NAACP Nick Underwood President Barack Obama President Obama Rev. Al Sharpton SCLC Senator Hank Sanders Superintendent Emma Louie Superintendent Isaac Atkins Supreme Court The Black Belt Community Foundation BBCF Grants Trayvon Martin Vice President Joe Biden